New England captain Andrew Strauss has insisted he has the full backing of predecessor Kevin Pietersen.
The opener was handed the captaincy for the forthcoming tour of the West Indies after Pietersen stepped down on Wednesday - the extent of his rift with coach Peter Moores having been made made public.
Moores himself was subsequently sacked by the England and Wales Cricket Board following a week of speculation about their relationship.
Pietersen has vowed to tour the Caribbean despite the furore, and Strauss told a press conference at Lord's on Thursday: "I've spoken to Kevin a couple of times already.
"He's in a very tough situation, he's got some stuff to deal with at the moment.
"I know him well, he's a good mate. He said he will support me and I believe he will."
The abrupt departure of Pietersen from the role he had only assumed last August came amidst speculation that he had lost the full support of the England dressing room.
Although playing down the matter, Strauss did acknowledge there were problems that needed to be addressed.
He said: "You believe the rifts in the dressing room are greater than they are.
"From the points of view of some players and some of the management we need to get it sorted out.
"I've got some conversations with some players and I'll happily do that over the next week and move forward.
"It was clear you need a captain and coach in a good working relationship, that is the crux.
"No-one wanted to come to this situation but we have to move on from here."
Strauss also expressed sympathy for Moores, and revealed that the latter's relationship with Pietersen had started to come unstuck during the recent tour of India.
"Peter Moores put a huge amount of effort and enthusiasm into taking the team forward," he said.
"No-one likes to see things end in this manner. He's shown a lot of integrity and I don't think he deserves to go out in this fashion."
England eventually lost a series rescheduled because of the Mumbai terror attacks - with both Pietersen and Moores criticised for the manner in which the tourists threw away a winning position in the first match.
Strauss said: "At the back end of the India tour there were signs that they weren't getting on as well as they could.
"But you've got to remember that as cricketers we were concentrating on playing and going back after the terrorist attacks. So there was a lot on our minds.
"Certainly there weren't signs that the relationship was as strained as has been said."
Strauss insisted he can work with his former captain in the Caribbean and revealed he had spoken to Pietersen after being offered the helm.
He continued: "Kevin Pietersen has been very supportive of me so far, it's a tough situation for him and I'm sure he has his own side of the story.
"I believe he did what he felt was in the best interest of the England team - I've got no problems with him as a player.
"It is vitally important we can get the best out of him as a player and I believe I can work with him."
He added: "I had to think about it (the captaincy) carefully, the ECB came to me yesterday and asked if I would be interested in the job if KP was not to carry on.
"I believe I can do the job and believe I am the right person to do the job at this stage, it is important there is leadership at the moment.
"It was important I spoke to KP about the reasons I took the job."
The opener, who skippered England for five Tests in 2006 when Michael Vaughan was sidelined through injury, also said he had ideas to take the team forward.
"When a full-time coach is selected it is important I sit down and discuss what my views are of the team going forward and I've got some strong views on that," Strauss said.
"The key is to have a united front and support each other."
Strauss, who last played international limited-overs cricket in April 2007, added that he has yet to discuss the one-day captaincy with the ECB.
"I am going to have a meeting with the selectors. Clearly there are issues. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that I haven't been involved in the one-day squad for the last 12 or 18 months," he said.
"We need to discuss what we need to do and we need to work out what's best for the team, and how we can best perform."